The Balnarring Picnic Racing Club has some wonderful people involved as members and on the committee. Roy Francis is one of them. Therefore it came as no surprise to anyone at the club – with the possible exception of Roy himself – when he was named Victorian Senior Citizen of the Year in October.
“They only told me I was a recipient of an award; I had no idea I had won the big one,” Roy said. “When I heard my name called, I was shocked and a little shaky. I couldn’t tell you what I said.”
Public speaking is not normally an issue for the Mornington 77-year-old. Since being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2006, he has made more than 750 presentations about men’s health to community groups across Victoria. “I think I have spoken at every Rotary, Lions and Probus club on the Mornington Peninsula.”
Roy was the first Prostate Awareness volunteer ambassador appointed by the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and was also the first volunteer ambassador for the National Stroke Foundation and beyondblue. In 2010, he formed the Mornington Peninsula Prostate Cancer Support Group, which reaches out to men in need.
Roy said none of his achievements would have been possible without the tireless support of his wife, Helen. “She has a background in advanced nursing and helps me with all the technical stuff. She also looks after the administrative side of things. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t get out the door.”
The club’s annual Christmas race meeting is on Saturday, December 9.
BALNARRING PICNIC RACING CLUB
A: 58 Coolart Rd, Balnarring
T: 5983 9430 (race days)